Year-end fundraising is always a flurry of activity with each and every organization counting on their supporters to go that extra mile, and make that additional cash donation.
But an overlooked source of support, particularly important to pursue at the end of the year, are product donations.
Why are year-end product donations easier to secure? The IRS requires that businesses count their inventory at least once per year. Most businesses do this at the end of each year, so the more inventory they can move during December, the better.
But what sorts of year-end product donations might be out there?
For example, if you are working with children . . .and you have an ALDI store in your community, this is a good time of year to ask for a gift card. The ALDI Smart Kids Program supports nonprofit organizations, public agencies, K-12 schools, and faith-based organizations that promote kids being active and healthy in the communities where ALDI stores are located.
Another good example if you are working with children is the Toy Industry Foundation’s Toy Bank. Through The Toy Bank, the Foundation collects millions of toys from toy companies and distributes them to thousands of children's charities around the globe, including those helping families struggling in poverty, foster children, military families, kids undergoing cancer treatments, children with special needs, and many others. And the application process is easy and quick!
Or let’s say you’re working in the area of community and economic development and you’re located in a rural area, you might want to check out Kubota Cares, the Kubota Tractor Corporation philanthropy program, which supports nonprofit organizations that enhance the quality of life in rural communities. They donate equipment to organizations that focus on “people who work with and shape the earth in ways that help their communities thrive, such as pathways, playgrounds, and parks, and local agricultural initiatives.
Also in the area of economic development and also environment you might want to check out the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), which builds the ArcGIS mapping and spatial analytics software. The ESRI Education Program, Nonprofit Organization Program, Disaster Response Program, and Conservation Program provide a range of software, learning materials, tools, expert assistance, and special applications. Eligible organizations include, but are not limited to, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, parks and botanical gardens, and museums throughout the world.
Or if you work in the area of education, and have a Lowe’s store in your community, donations of supplies and materials for your projects may be requested from the local Lowe's store. Actually, you don’t even have to be working in the area of education, though this seems to be a priority for the company. Almost any nonprofit organization can request this type of support. Again, a quick, easy ask.
Also, take a good look at next year’s budget for your organization and if air travel is involved think about checking out the corporate giving guidelines for airlines that operate in your area. There are often year-end airline transportation certificates to be had.
I couldn’t close this blog post without mentioning two of my favorite product donation organizations: TechSoup and Good360. Please check them both out!
I could go on and on as there are literally hundreds and hundreds of product donation programs available. So don’t overlook these fairly easy to secure year-end gifts as you move toward closing out 2017.
Action steps you can take today
If you are a Member of GrantStation and are looking for information on a specific product donation program, just type the grantmaker’s name into Funders Name to review the profile.
If you are a member of GrantStation, identify the area in which you work, such as Health, and then select “product donations” from the type of support menu and you will bring up good leads for some year-end contributions.
If you are not a member of GrantStation, try doing a Google search using “product donations” as the key words. You’ll get thousands of returns, and it takes time, but you will likely find some interesting programs.
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